But an unprecedented examination of his DNA, along with a facial reconstruction of the fossil, shows that the young man would have had a darker complexion than previously thought, along with blue eyes and dark, curly hair.
To extract the DNA, researchers and scientists working on the project, had to insert a small incision into the skull by drilling into the bone.
Scientists believe that populations living in Europe became lighter-skinned over time because pale skin absorbs more sunlight, which is required to produce enough vitamin D. The latest findings suggest pale skin may have emerged later, possibly when the advent of farming meant people were obtaining less vitamin D though dietary sources like oily fish.
Cheddar Man was unearthed in 1903 in Gough's Cave at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, and has been the topic of constant mystery and intrigue.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland, professor of population genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Dan Bradley said that a project with the National Museum of Ireland has made similar findings for that of the earliest Irish populations. Data and software used in forensics gave a clearer understanding of Cheddar Man's skin pigmentation.
"Cheddar Man's genetic profile places him with several other Mesolithic-era Europeans from Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg whose DNA has already been analysed. The current, very light skin we have in Ireland is at the endpoint of thousands of years of surviving in a climate where there's very little sun", Bradley said. It is now believed that the Cheddar man came to Britain from Africa via the Middle East.
The so-called Cheddar Man was a hunter-gatherer during the Mesolithic period, which ended just before the appearance of agriculture.
Giving an indication of what the island would have looked like from a human settlement perspective, Bradley said that there was likely only between 30,000 and 40,000 people around this time who would have arrived by boat. The genetic material was remarkably well preserved, which the team attributes to the fact that Cheddar Man was in a cave for so long.
The Cheddar Man's skull.
Alfons Kennis, who made the bust with his brother Adrie, said the DNA findings were "revolutionary". And maybe it gets rid of the idea that you have to look a certain way to be from somewhere.
A Channel 4 documentary following the reconstruction of Cheddar Man - The First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000-Year-Old Man - airs on Sunday 18 February. "We are all immigrants".